Petition Do not increase visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge
Halt any further increases in visa fees and the Immigration Health Surcharge. Immigrants who contribute through taxes shouldn't face increased financial burdens
We believe these fees are already an extortionate burden on individuals who hold temporary visas, with no access to public funds. It is disheartening that despite our contributions, we are required to pay additional charges just to access essential healthcare services through the NHS. It is crucial to highlight that individuals with work visas diligently fulfil their tax obligations. Yet they are subjected to policies that demand extra payments for access to the NHS. The Government should not increase these even further.
This response was given on 11 August 2023
The contribution migrants make is recognised, but the Government believes those that use health and immigration services should help fund the cost of delivering them. Increases will be progressed.
Whist the significant contribution migrants make to the UK is recognised, it is the Government’s policy that those who use and benefit most from our public services such as the immigration system and the NHS should contribute towards the cost of operating those services.
The Home Office does not make a profit from visa fees. In line with the charging principles set out in the 2014 Act, fees for immigration and nationality services are set in consideration of the cost of processing the application, the wider cost of running the Migration and Borders system and the benefits enjoyed by successful applicants and any income from fees set above the cost of processing are utilised for this purpose.
Income generated from immigration and nationality fees can only be used to fund the Migration and Borders system and plays a vital role in the Home Office’s ability to run a sustainable system. It is the Government’s policy that those who use and benefit most from the immigration system should contribute towards the cost of operating it, reducing the burden on the UK taxpayer.
The IHS is paid by individuals subject to immigration control who apply to come to the UK to work, study or join family for a time-limited period of more than six months. It is also paid by migrants who are already in the UK and apply to extend their stay. The IHS is intended to ensure temporary migrants make a financial contribution to the comprehensive range of NHS services available to them in the UK.
Neither the majority of application fees nor the IHS have been subject to significant increases recently despite a context of high inflation. IHS rates have not increased since 2020. The cost of providing healthcare has increased in that time. It is right the IHS level is kept under review to ensure it reflects the genuine cost to the NHS of providing health care to IHS payers. The IHS is still very competitive globally for healthcare costs.
Visa fee and IHS increases will be made in the autumn via amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Fees Regulations 2018 and the Immigration (Health Charge) Order 2015, subject to parliamentary process.
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